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The Daily Bee (February 19th, 2021): Europa League Madness

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Who says the Champions League has a monopoly on madness?

BSC Young Boys v Bayer Leverkusen - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One Photo by RvS.Media/Basile Barbey/Getty Images

Good morning Fear the Wall!

The Europa League gets a bad rap. While it obviously can’t compare directly to the Champions in terms of international notoriety, the history, and the magnitude of the clubs involved, there can still be very entertaining matches, including some like the Borussia Dortmund vs Liverpool match from a few years ago, that can be just as memorable as any others.

Yesterday, there was another instant classic in the Europa League, involving two somewhat surprising teams. Bayer Leverkusen faced the Swiss Champions BSC Young Boys, and the match had all the drama you could ask for. At the outset of the match, it definitely didn’t seem like it would be close. Surprisingly, it was Young Boys that roared out the gate, scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes, and scoring again before the half to jump out to a stunning 3-0 lead, and it looked like Leverkusen were living up to their reputation as supreme choke artists.

But this is not your father’s Neverkusen... in the second half, Peter Bosz’s team came flying back. Within seven minutes, Patrik Schick had scored twice, and Leverkusen were right back in business. Later in the second half, Moussa Diaby scored an equalizer only five minutes after being subbed on.

While it looked like Young Boys had blown a huge opportunity to go into the away leg with a three-goal lead, they at least scored one more goal before the match ended, to make it 4-3. This gives a slight advantage to Young Boys, who can now advance with a draw in the return leg.

Hoffenheim also Blow a Lead

While Leverkusen came roaring back from a 3-0 deficit, the Europa League’s other Bundesliga representative, TSG Hoffenheim, did the opposite, and bottled a lead against Molde FK of the Norwegian Elitserien. While the match ended 3-3, Hoffenheim will still be disappointed. At the half, the score was 3-1 in favor of the visitors, but Molde scored two goals in less than five minutes in the second half to tie the game.

The Daily Buzz

Does either Bundesliga club in the Europa League have a shot at winning the trophy?